By: Hellen Zaboulani
Republican millionaire and former investor Harry Wilson is giving “very serious” thought to running for New York State governor. “I’m flattered by the many calls from Republican Party leaders and activists who have encouraged me to run for governor,” Wilson said. “I’m giving it very serious consideration and will make a decision soon.” As reported by the NY Post, he believes his background in business and consulting would help New York on its path to recovery following the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.
Wilson, 50, was a successful investor having worked for Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs, and Silver Point Capital before his retirement at age 36 to pursue public service and charity work. He has served in several high positions in former President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department and Auto Industry task force. The Harvard MBA grad has expertise in corporate restructuring and is currently CEO of Maeva Group, an advisory council he formed. Last year he also became CEO of Genesis Health Care, the largest skilled nursing provider in the U.S., in an attempt to save the company. He also has experience running for political offices, having unsuccessfully run for NYS Comptroller against Tom DiNapoli in 2010.
Wilson, the son of Greek immigrants and currently a Scarsdale resident, said he is privately polling New Yorkers to see if he should pursue candidacy. The GOP already has three candidates announced—including Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, a party favorite; former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino; and Andrew Giuliani, the son of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani who served as a White House aide to former President Donald Trump.
Wilson certainly could fund a campaign should he decide to, and he also has backers who believe in his ability to turnaround the state, as he has done for countless companies, notably including General Motors and Chrysler following the 2008 recession.
Wilson is a proponent for cracking down on crime and improving education by supplanting low-performing schools with charter schools . He co-authored a study showing charter schools are a good investment for tax dollars.
In 2018, Wilson had similarly considered a run for governor against then powerful incumbent, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. At the time, he had said he would spend roughly $10 million of his own money for the campaign. Though he had some strong backers, he ultimately decided against running at that time, citing family obligations. He is married and has four daughters.